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Beersheba, Israel

Cohen O.S.,The Sagol Neuroscience Center | Cohen O.S.,Tel Aviv University | Chapman J.,The Sagol Neuroscience Center | Chapman J.,Tel Aviv University | And 6 more authors.
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica | Year: 2016

Background: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most common prion disease in humans. The clinical diagnosis of CJD is supported by a combination of electroencephalogram, MRI, and the presence in the CSF of biomarkers. CSF tau is a marker for neuronal damage and tangle pathology, and is correlated with cognitive status in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Objectives: The aim of this study was to test whether tau levels in the CSF also correlate with the degree of the neurological deficit and cognitive decline in patients with CJD as reflected by various clinical scales that assess disease severity and cognitive performance. Methods: Consecutive patients with familial CJD (fCJD) were examined by a neurologist who performed several tests including minimental status examination (MMSE), frontal assessment battery (FAB), NIH stroke scale (NIHSS), CJD neurological scale (CJD-NS), and the expanded disability status scale (EDSS). CSF tau was tested as part of the workout, and the correlation was tested using Pearson correlation. Results: Fifty-two patients with fCJD were recruited to the study (35 males, mean age 59.4 ± 5.7, range 48-75 years). A significant negative correlation was found between CSF tau levels and the cognitive performance of the patients as reflected by their MMSE and FAB scores. In addition, a significant positive correlation was found between tau levels and the clinical disease severity scales of CJD-NS, NIHSS, and EDSS. Conclusion: The correlation between tau levels and the disease severity and degree of cognitive decline in patients with fCJD suggests that tau can be a biomarker reflecting the extent of neuronal damage. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Cohen O.S.,The Sagol Neuroscience Center | Cohen O.S.,Tel Aviv University | Chapman J.,The Sagol Neuroscience Center | Chapman J.,Tel Aviv University | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2014

The largest cluster of E200K familial Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (fCJD) which occurs is in Jews of Libyan origin in Israel. Insomnia is a very common early complaint in those patients and may even be the presenting symptom. The aim of this study was to assess and characterize sleep pathology in E200K fCJD patients. To do so, sleep studies of 10 consecutive fCJD patients were compared with those of 39 age and gender-matched controls. All patients presented pathological sleep characterized by fragmentation of sleep, loss of sleep spindles and reduced REM sleep amount. Respiration was characterized by irregular rhythm, periodic breathing, apneas and hypopneas, either central or obstructive. EMG recordings revealed repeated movements in sleep, with loss of REM atonia. Comparing to controls, a significant decrease of total sleep time, sleep efficacy and slow-wave sleep as well as a significant increase in the number of awakenings, apnea–hypopnea index and mixed and central apneas were evident in CJD patients. Comparison of two sequential sleep studies in one patient revealed a 40 % reduction of the total sleep time, a 40 % reduction in sleep efficacy and a 40-fold increase of the number of arousals in the second study. A significant correlation was found between the disease severity, as reflected by the CJD Neurological Scale and Periodic leg movement index. These definite and characteristic sleep pathologies in patients with fCJD associated with the E200K mutation may serve as a new diagnostic tool in the disease. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Hassin-Baer S.,The Sagol Neuroscience Center | Hassin-Baer S.,Tel Aviv University | Hattori N.,Juntendo University | Cohen O.S.,The Sagol Neuroscience Center | And 5 more authors.
Movement Disorders | Year: 2011

Background: We describe the four decades follow-up of 14 parkin patients belonging to two large eight-generation-long in-bred Muslim-Arab kindreds. Results: All patients had a single base-pair of adenine deletion at nucleotide 202 of exon 2 (202A) of the parkin gene (all homozygous, one heterozygous). Parkinson's disease onset age was 17-68 years. Special features were intractable axial symptoms (low back pain, scoliosis, camptocormia, antecollis), postural tremor, and preserved cognition. Conclusions: The 202A deletion of the parkin gene causes early-onset Parkinson's disease with marked levodopa/STN-DBS-resistant axial features. Postural tremor and preserved cognition, even after 40 years of disease, were also evident. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society. Source

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